Windham and Lakes Summer Calender

June 12th, 2013

Saturday, June 8: The Lumber River Quartet, a southern Gospel group from North Carolina, is returning to the Bible Believing Baptist Church, 92 Center Road in Gray, at 7 p.m. There is no charge, but a free-will offering will be received. They will also perform at the Sunday morning service at 10:30 a.m. on June 9. All welcome.
CCFCU: Money Market: 250×250: LRW: 120705-131231 Windham Econ Dev: … has it: 250×250: LRW: 120103-131231 Maine Weddings: 250×250: ROS: per Jen

June 8: Annual Plant and Bake Sale at the Raymond Village Library from 7-11 a.m. Come early for best selections. Many types of both annuals and perennials from which to choose, at amazingly low prices. For more information, call 655-5217.

Sunday, June 9: Hundreds of participants will compete in a triathlon race called the Pirate Tri beginning at 8:30 a.m. at Point Sebago Resort. Cyclists will follow a marked course in the surrounding community on Point Sebago Road, Route 302, Tenney Hill Road, Route 11, and Quaker Ridge Road. Drivers will experience delays on Route 302 between 8:30 a.m. and noon. Drivers should avoid Route 302 near Point Sebago Road and seeking an alternate route at that time. Please call 221-5420 for more information.

Monday, June 10: The Windham Democratic Town Committee will host the Lakes Regions Dems Meeting at 6:30 p.m. in the Windham Public Library. All Democrats welcome. Contact Mark Bryant, WDTC Chair, for more information at 892-6591.

Wednesday, June 12: The third annual WOMB Forum (Women’s Outlook on Maine Business) takes place 2-5 p.m. at Camp Takajo in Naples. Former Good Morning America host Joan Lunden will host the event. The event is sponsored by the Sebago Lakes Region Chamber of Commerce. Tickets are $35 for members and $40 for non-members. Signature sponsor is People’s United Bank. FMI, go to

June 14-16: The eighth annual Maine Blues Festival takes place in Naples. Dozens of blues bands and performers take the stage at various venues around downtown Naples. Tickets are $12 in advance and $16 during the event. For more information, check out

Friday, June 14: The newly established Lakes Region Community Chorus will perform “A Bouquet of Music” at the Bridgton Academy Chapel. The free concert starts at 7 p.m. and explores a variety of musical styles.

Saturday, June 15: A used book sale will be held on Saturday, June 15, from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Windham Hill United Church of Christ, 140 Windham Center Road in Windham. A huge selection of fiction and nonfiction books will be available. For more information, call 892-4217.

June 15: Casco Public Library is holding a Trash & Treasure sale 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

June 21-July 7: Schoolhouse Arts Center will present “25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee” June 21, 22, 28, 29 and July 5 and 6 at 7:30 p.m. and June 23 and 30 and July 7 at 5 p.m. Tickets are $18 for adults and $16 for students and seniors. Schoolhouse Arts Center is located at 16 Richville Road (Route 114) in Standish, just north of the intersection of Route 114 and Route 35. Call 642-3743 for reservations or buy tickets online at

Saturday, June 29: Raymond Garden Tour. It will begin at the Raymond Village Library and include 12 private Raymond gardens. 9 a.m. until 3 p.m. Tickets are $15 in advance and $20 day of tour. They may be purchased at the Raymond Village Florist on Route 302, at the Raymond Village Library on Route 121 and online at

June 29: The Windham High School girls volleyball team hosts a car wash at NAPA Auto Parts in North Windham from 10 a.m.-2 p.m.

July 20: Windham High School Class of 1973 holds its 40th Reunion upstairs at Rustler’s Steak House in Windham from 6 p.m. on. There will be a menu to order food from that night, so no advance reservation or admission fee is required. Come celebrate! RSVP to Sue Witonis 655-4426/ or Donna Morton at 655-3581/

Funnel cloud seen hovering above Sebago Lake

August 5th, 2012

Sebago tornado winds almost as fast as Windham Taxi's excellant service !

SEBAGO LAKE – One look at the threatening sky above and James Sinko, a meteorology student on vacation at Sebago Lake State Park last weekend, knew conditions over Sebago Lake Sunday afternoon were ripe for something spectacular.

And the heavens didn’t disappoint as a funnel cloud formed near Point Sebago Resort in Casco on the eastern shore and sat there churning for about 8 minutes, Sinko said.

Sinko, a student at Lyndon State College in Vermont, captured the rotating funnel cloud with his camera phone at 1:28 p.m. and then alerted John Jensenius at the National Weather Service office in Gray. Jensenius confirmed the funnel cloud and immediately issued a weather advisory for the area.

While funnel clouds, which Jensenius estimated had a rotating wind speed of between 40-60 mph, are rare in Maine, the Sebago Lake funnel was Sinko’s second such sighting in less than two weeks. He saw another funnel cloud while visiting a school friend in Corolla, N.C. on July 20.

Sinko, of Brunswick, had been swimming at the day-use section of Sebago Lake State Park, “in the rain like a true Mainer,” he said, when he noticed the sky darkening.

“I noticed it when I was in the water and started to see this very small line of very fast rotating clouds and then began to drag more clouds into the rotation. It was getting dark as the rain shower got closer. [It was an] amazing experience,” Sinko said.

Jensenius, the warning coordination meteorologist at the National Weather Service in Gray, explained that a funnel cloud doesn’t make landfall. When a funnel touches down over land, it’s described as a tornado. And when a funnel forms over water and touches down on the surface, it’s described as a waterspout.

Jensenius said the funnel cloud over Sebago Lake on Sunday never touched down, “but it was very close,” he said.

Jensenius said a shear zone had formed over Sebago Lake Sunday, which provided optimal conditions for a rotating cloud formation to take shape. On the ocean side of Sebago Lake, winds were out of the southwest while inland the winds were coming out of the northeast, “so there was kind of a shearing motion which when combined with the fact that we had a shower developing over the area, caused that rotation to spin up,” Jensenius said.

Jensenius said waterspouts have formed over Sebago Lake in the past. However, with handheld consumer technology like the smartphone used by Sinko to capture and email images of the funnel, the weather service is getting more documented cases thanks to perceptive observers like Sinko.

“We’re seeing more and more of these because people have cell phones and other equipment they can take photos with. So we seem to be seeing more of these things,” Jensenius said, adding, “If people see funnel clouds, we’d appreciate they call in.”

Sinko said there were boats in the area on Sunday but not directly below the cloud formation. Jensenius said boaters need not worry “as long as the funnel is up in the air. But if it does come down and either forms a waterspout or tornado, yes, it is dangerous, but it depends on how strong it is.”

In Maine, Jensenius said waterspouts and funnels can pack wind speeds in excess of 100 mph with tornadoes packing even more rotational wind speed.

Gun maker’s plant in Maine to close, 70 lose jobs

December 18th, 2010

WINDHAM, Maine (AP) — The Maine gun plant that produced the semiautomatic rifle used by the Beltway snipers will close, putting about 70 people out of work.

North Carolina-based Freedom Group announced Friday it’s closing the Bushmaster Firearms plant in Windham. The company said production will be moved to other plants owned by Freedom Group, which is the parent company of Remington, Marlin Firearms and Dakota Arms, along with Bushmaster.

The Windham plant will close on March 31.

Bushmaster is one of the largest producers of the civilian version of the M-16 rifle. A Bushmaster XM-15 was used by John Allen Muhammad and his teenage accomplice in a three-week spree in 2002 across Maryland, Virginia and Washington, D.C. Mohammad was executed in November 2009.

Murder charge issued in Windham shooting

September 24th, 2010

WINDHAM, Maine – A Windham man was arrested Tuesday evening in connection with the death of a man whose body was found on his property last week.

Joseph Green, 44, faces a murder charge in the death of David Harmon, 40, who died from a gunshot wound, according to the state medical examiner’s office.

Harmon was reported missing on Sept. 1 by his wife, who said she had dropped him off to scout hunting sites. A release from the Maine State Police said that Harmon intended to steal marijuana that was growing on Green’s property.

State police said Green and Harmon knew each other and that Green has been cooperating in the investigation. A handgun that police believe was used in the shooting has been found.

Green was arrested around 7 p.m. Tuesday at his mother’s house in Casco, according to the state police. He is being held at Cumberland County Jail in Portland and will appear in Portland Superior Court on Wednesday or Thursday.

An autopsy by the state medical examiner’s office showed that Harmon died from a “through-and-through wound consistent with a gunshot,” said police spokesman Steve McCausland. His death has been ruled a homicide.

A handgun believed used in the shooting, along with some marijuana, have been recovered, he said.

Harmon’s wife was aware that her husband was searching for marijuana plants, but no charges have been filed against her, McCausland said.

Green was being held in the Cumberland County Jail and was expected to make a court appearance either Wednesday or Thursday.

USM Students Moving Into Dorms Ahead Of Classes

August 28th, 2010

GORHAM, Maine (AP) ― Incoming students at the University of Southern Maine are moving into their dorms.

USM officials say nearly 500 freshmen and transfer students are moving into residence halls on Saturday at the university’s campus in Gorham. University President Selma Bottman plans to be there to greet them and their families.

Upperclassmen are moving in on Sunday morning.

In all, USM this year is expecting about 925 freshmen and an equal number of transfer students this fall.

Classes begin on Monday at USM, which has campuses in Gorham and Portland.

Windham stocks its pantry shelves

August 21st, 2010

WINDHAM, Maine (NEWS CENTER) — Windham’s food pantry is once again stocked up after a major push for donations over the last few weeks.

The pantry teamed up with Senator Bill Diamond and Representatives Mark Bryant and Gary Plummer to get the word out about low donations during the summer months.

Over the past few weeks the pantry has collected more than $10,000, and during a food drive Saturday, collected about 5,000 pounds of food.

Madeline Roberts, with the food pantry, says the food will help them feed area families for the next four months. She says they’ll hold another food drive around Christmas.

4 tornadoes touch down in New England

August 6th, 2010

GORHAM, Maine — Four separate funnel clouds made contact in New England, the National Weather Service confirmed.

In Maine, tornadoes touched down in Gorham, Limerick and Alfred.

According to the National Weather Service, the tornado that stuck Gorham on Wednesday started as an EF0 before strengthening to an EF1 with winds up to 110 miles per hour.

“I couldn’t believe it, I mean this is something we don’t ever see around here,” said Shawn Barden, a witness.

The twister bounced westward through a neighborhood, where it ripped apart trees and threw a swing set and trampoline.

“Trees started falling but we couldn’t hear the tree fall cause the wind was so loud,” said Mackenzie Collins, another witness.

The tornado destroyed two barns and killed two heads of cattle; Norm Justice’s historic barn was one of them.

“It was on the tree line there and I could see it forming. It came quit,” said Norm Justice.

Two other twisters touched down in Maine on Wednesday, including one in Hollis.

On average, the state of Maine sees just two tornadoes per year.

A tornado was also confirmed in Bristol, Conn.

High winds damaged homes and the heavy rain was too much for the city sewers.

The National Weather Service reportedly also investigated reports of funnel clouds in New Hampshire and Vermont.

No injuries were reported in any of the tornadoes.

Windham’s Jack Mallis Wins 39th Fitzpatrick Trophy

January 21st, 2010

Windham, Maine — Windham’s Jack Mallis became the school’s first-ever Fitzpatrick Award winner on Sunday.

Mallis, who along with finalists Lonnie Hackett of Bangor and Nic Crutchfield of Dirigo, was up for the award annually given to Maine’s most outstanding high school senior football student-athlete.

Catch an interview with Jack Sunday night on NEWS 8 at 6 and 11, as well as later on WMTW.COM.

Windham buys 10.3-acre parcel to help alleviate traffic snarl

January 2nd, 2010

By John Balentine | 0 comments

To alleviate traffic woes in North Windham, the Windham Town Council voted last week to purchase 10.3 acres in North Windham for $455,500.

The land, situated at the intersection of Anglers Road and Route 302, will primarily allow for the reconstruction of what town planners have long considered a dangerous intersection.

“This project is multi-purposed. It’ll provide access to fix the intersection, and the secondary benefit is economic development,” said Tom Bartell, Windham’s economic development director, who approached the owner of the property, Windham resident Tony Vance, four months ago.

With last week’s go-ahead from the council, Bartell said the town was scheduled to close on the property Wednesday. Vance, who bought the property in chunks over the past five years, attended the council meeting last week.

“We were going to do something, but when the market tanked like it did, we backed off on that,” Vance said.

Vance said “this is good for the town” because it’ll give the town access to Chaffin Pond, which borders the rear of the 10-acre parcel, and allow for a realignment of Anglers Road. “I’ve heard horror stories, people running red lights, accidents,” Vance said.

Windham Police Lt. David DeGruchy said the intersection is a hazard and that an accident, especially west of the intersection, can cause traffic headaches that reverberate along the length of Route 302.

“It’s awkward as all get-out. With that (Anglers Road) offset, it’s obviously not set up for safety, especially with two lanes pinching off into one. That can cause a lot of road rage, so any updates can only help the situation up there,” Degruchy said.

The plan, according to Bartell, is to work with the Maine Department of Transportation to rebuild the intersection so Anglers Road intersects with Route 302 directly across from where Whites Bridge Road enters Route 302. Bartell said having a cross-shaped intersection will allow for shorter wait times for Route 302 traffic, thereby allowing for better traffic flow through busy North Windham especially during peak summer use.

At last week’s Town Council meeting, where the measure passed 5-1 (Donna Chapman opposed), several councilors requested Bartell speak with the Department of Transportation about extending the two-lane section of Route 302 further north to mitigate the bottleneck in front of Allied Real Estate. Bartell said the state’s preliminary redesign allows for a turning lane at Anglers Road and extends the two lanes to an area closer to Seacoast Fun Park.

Once the intersection is reconstructed, the town hopes to sell off remaining lots to commercial interests. In this manner, Bartell said the town would recoup some of the $455,000 it has spent on the land. If land values go up, any excess revenue from the sale of the parcels “would be used for further economic development,” Bartell said.

Bartell said the town used money from two tax increment financing districts – $273,300 from the Pipeline Development fund and $182,200 from the Windham Development District North fund – to purchase the 10.3- acre parcel from Vance. The purchase price was determined by the assessed value of the property as set by the tax assessor, which Bartell said was $20,000 less than the current appraised value.

The price tag and fact that Vance wasn’t able to sell off lots at the site worried Councilor Chapman, who voted against the purchase.

“That property has been up for sale for a very long time, and that concerns me. It concerns me that we’re going to take TIF funding and purchase that to try to realign the roads, which in my opinion won’t help our bottleneck.”

Bartell admitted there is risk inherent in the project, but even if the town is unable to sell off the property, the benefit to traffic flow is worth the risk.

“We really do believe that once this roadway and the right-of-way is put in that we will be able to come up with parcels that are valued at least equal to the cost of the mortgage. That is our intention. That’s our hope,” Bartell said.

Naples Crash Victim Identified

December 20th, 2009

NAPLES, Maine (NEWS CENTER) — The Cumberland County Sheriff’s Office has identified the man killed in Tuesday afternoon’s fatal accident in Naples.

Forty-four-year-old Shannon Ronan was operating a UPS truck travelling westbound on Route 302 (Roosevelt Trail). Investigators say Ronan was stopped in traffic, waiting to make a left hand turn.

A Time Warner Cable bucket truck, driven by Michael Hanrahan, 42, apparently failed to stop and rear-ended the UPS truck, pushing it into the oncoming lane where it was struck head-on by a tractor-trailer carrying bulk propane.

The tractor-trailer, which was owned by Pickard Transportation was driven by Dewight Pickard, 55.

Ronan, who was from Gray, died in the crash.

Investigators say at this time, no charges will be filed in connection with the accident. The Sheriff’s Office says the Maine State Police Commercial Vehicle Enforcement and an Accident Re-constructionist from the Windham Police Department continue to investigate the accident.